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No Más Hambre: A Community Call to Action

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 5:13pm
The NO MAS HAMBRE Summit recently held in Washington DC to raise awareness of hunger in the Latino community brought together government, nonprofit, corporate and community leaders to talk about solutions to an endemic problem that often goes unnoticed — nearly one in three Latino households with children faces hunger in this country. At the [...]

Celebrating the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act Two Years Later

Thu, 12/13/2012 - 9:06pm
It’s been two years since President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into law. The Act cleared the way for historic improvements to the child nutrition programs, such as school lunch and school breakfast, that serve millions of our nation’s children. We’ve already implemented many provisions of the Act, with many schools [...]

U.S. Food Shopping Out of Sync with Nutritional Advice

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 3:28pm
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. Many of our diets aren’t what they should be. Americans eat fewer fruits and vegetables than Federal nutrition guidance recommends, and we over-consume fats, [...]

Don’t Forget Your Winter “Vegetables”

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 9:25am
December is National Tomato and Winter Squash Month, a time to celebrate two very versatile “vegetables” that contain a wealth of flavors and nutrients. You may find this hard to believe, but at one point tomatoes (once called “love apples”) were considered poisonous and grown solely for their ornamental value.  Today tomatoes are the most [...]

Innovation Helps Fuel Growth for Winter Farmers Markets

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 7:42pm
This is one of my favorite times of the year.  New and old traditions bring friends and family together to celebrate, cheer for their favorite football teams or just to share a hearty meal and some spirited conversations.  As the weather gets cooler, my family gravitates toward comfort foods and traditional family favorites, picking up [...]

New Jersey School Gardens Offer More Than Just Produce

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 12:05am
New Jersey Farm to School Network and Edible Jersey Magazine recently awarded their inaugural School Garden of the Year Award to three projects for innovative efforts to connect their school gardens to the cafeteria, curriculum, and community.  How fitting that schools in the Garden State are host to a number of exemplary school gardens! The [...]

Wheat Genome Sequenced in Breakthrough for Global Food Security

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 9:35am
The Journal Nature today published a paper reporting that scientists from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), as part of an international team, have completed a shotgun sequencing of the wheat genome. The achievement is expected to increase wheat yields, help feed the world and speed up development of wheat varieties with enhanced nutritional value. Wheat [...]

Food for Thought Exhibit: Putting the Dietary Guidelines into Action at the Koshland Science Museum

Wed, 11/28/2012 - 11:56am
On November 15, 2012, the National Academy of Sciences Koshland Science Museum here in Washington, DC, premiered its new Food for Thought exhibit. This engaging experience offers an interactive and thought-provoking opportunity for visitors to explore the practical how-to of healthy eating. To kick off the grand opening of the exhibit, the Koshland held its [...]

Secretary’s Column: Recognizing Native American Heritage Month

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 10:10pm
This November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has joined Americans across the country in recognizing Native American Heritage Month. We’ve taken time to honor the contributions of more than 5 million Native Americans across the United States. We’ve also reaffirmed our special relationship with those who live, work and raise their families in rural America. [...]

Bringing Federal Partners to the Local Foods Table

Tue, 11/20/2012 - 4:17pm
Three years ago this fall, Secretary Vilsack and I launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative (KYF2).  Since then, we’ve seen interest and participation in local and regional food systems grow beyond anything we expected: whether I’m meeting with buffalo ranchers from the Great Plains or with members of the U.S. Conference of [...]

A Thanksgiving Treat–Local Foods for Schools in a Minnesota Community

Mon, 11/19/2012 - 4:15pm
On a fall morning in Mrs. Jones’ sixth-grade class in Tracy, Minn., students are learning how to make pumpkin pudding. Instead of using a can opener to pry the lid off cans of pumpkin, a real pumpkin is being used. And not just any real pumpkin, a pumpkin that came straight from a local garden [...]

Join USDA in Helping those Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Mon, 11/19/2012 - 4:15pm
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we want to share valuable information about Federal relief efforts and resources to help those impacted in the Northeast. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is coordinating with States and partner organizations to provide disaster nutrition assistance to individuals in 14 states affected by Hurricane Sandy. To aid those [...]

USDA’s SuperTracker Receives Award for Outstanding IT Achievement in Government

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 7:54pm
In addition to reaching over 1.4 million users, USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion now has something else to be proud of regarding its state-of-the-art SuperTracker.  On October 24, 2012, the SuperTracker Team received the 2012 Government Computer News (GCN) Award for Outstanding IT Achievement in Government, along with nine other awardees from local, [...]

Collaboration Key to Aiding Hurricane Sandy Victims

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 2:21pm
Tough times and dire circumstances have a longstanding history of bringing America’s communities and organizations together.  The recent storms that descended on much of the nation’s Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions have underscored these important partnerships. For many of the stricken areas, including the urban centers in the Northeast, natural disasters of this scale are relatively [...]

Feds and Farmers Feed Families in Pennsylvania

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 12:28pm
During this year’s Feds Feed Families food drive, the Schuylkill County USDA Service Center in Pennsylvania beat its last year’s total of 11,084 pounds of donated food with a new total of 19,092 pounds. Feds Feed Families is a nationwide federal employee effort to re-stock the shelves of food banks and pantries over the summer [...]

Feds Feed Families Helps End Hunger in Tennessee

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 12:28pm
The fourth annual Feds Feed Families food drive has come to a close and USDA employees helped to bolster local efforts to feed those in need in a big way.  USDA employees, farmers, and friends donated 2.77 million pounds of food this summer and the federal-government-wide total was 7.29 million pounds of food!  This week, [...]

An Advocate for Those in Need

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 12:28pm
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement on the passing of Senator George McGovern: “Simply put, Senator George McGovern spent his life standing up for others. He honorably defended our nation during a time of war. He was a tremendous advocate for his home state of South Dakota and for all of rural [...]

Feeding Neighbors with Local Traditions

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 4:50pm
In many parts of the United States, the summer months are a time when food banks and pantries experience a higher demand alongside decreased donations.  As part of this past summer’s Feds Feed Families food drive, USDA employees in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, enthusiastically joined in the effort to help friends and neighbors struggling to put [...]

Partnerships Bolster Nutrition Messaging through “Grain Chain” Videos

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 4:50pm
The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) and its partners use a coordinated messaging approach to amplify the reach of themes and nutrition messages related to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Themes include Foods to Increase, Foods to Reduce, Balancing Calories, “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables” and “Avoid oversized portions.” [...]

The Gardeners’ Share Grows in McLean

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 10:18am
In McLean, a community tucked inside Fairfax County, not everyone can access the food they need for good health. I interviewed Julie Mendoza about her efforts to connect hungry families in McLean with fresh produce. Julie knew that Share McLean, a food pantry that serves hungry families in the area, often lacked fresh produce. As [...]

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